The Three Whys

Fire-burning season is upon us – we smell those fire-pits and chimneys on evening walks through the quiet Broad Ripple neighborhoods – the best!

It’s been a beautiful Fall so far, and that chimney is going to get its fair-share of use! According to the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac (which came out in August 2016), “forewarns that exceptionally cold, if not downright frigid weather will predominate over parts of the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, the Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and New England this winter (http://farmersalmanac.com/).”

That…means Hoosiers, all of us! But, let’s say you’ve already rolled your eyes, and the Farmers’ don’t hold much weight in predicting your Winter – unfortunately none of this negates the importance of having your chimney swept.

We are going to give you three simple reasons why this needs to be done, at least once a year (and now would be an ideal time):

  1. Because the National Fire Protection Association Standard says so – 

    We are not just blowing a bunch of hot air at you with this one. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, but hear it from the NFPA Standard 211, “chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
  2. For your safety –

    According to the CDC, between 1999 – 2010 carbon monoxide was responsible for unintentional deaths of 5149 people. That is an average of 430 deaths per year. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas that fuels numerous household furnaces, fireplaces and other appliances. In addition to having a carbon monoxide detector in your home, ensuring that the flues responsible for exhausting the toxic gas out of your homes, are clear, clean and ready to draft correctly is a must-do!

    And just because you have a gas-burning fireplace, does not automatically omit this from the need to have the flue system checked for any and all obstructions. If your gas burning fireplace is not fully and properly burning up the gas – that means potential residue, that means potential drafting issues, which all means a major safety issue.

    Wood-burners, this should go without saying – but creosote build-up in the chimney means potential for chimney/flue fires, and those are some serious hazards for the infrastructure and safety of your home, and everyone in it.

    The only folks who can avoid a chimney sweep here are the vent-less, gas-logs, but because they are vent-less there ought to be more caution ensuring all of the gas is being burned up and not being breathed in by the inhabitants of your homes.

  3. To avoid smoke damage –

    A chimney with drafting issues means that the air-flow is not occurring correctly – up and out, up and out…that’s the goal here people. When your chimney is not drafting correctly, smoke is not headed out the correct way either (up and out, up and out), and ends up pouring back into the home, and while it may be mild, it starts to show up as the dark-soot line across the top of the fireplace, or along the top of the mantle – not ideal.

    We have been asked about cleaning that off before – it can be done, but it may not come off completely. If there’s any indication of your chimney having drafting issues do not wait around until you’ve ruined the aesthetics of your fireplace or mantle.

If you’ve not had the chimney swept or inspected, now is the time – give your certified Chimney Outfitters a call!